Failing ANC sets bar low for Dlamini

In a shocking radio interview, President Cyril Ramaphosa made baffling claims with regards to the Minister of Women, Bathabile Dlamini, stating that she had set the bar with regards to her work in her portfolio.

Ramaphosa is quoted as saying “Bathabile Dlamini is [the] Minister of Women, and she is doing a good job in advancing the cause of women in our country. She has really raised the bar and is raising issues of how the country should start dealing with gender-based violence, she is doing a fantastic job, particularly now during these 16 days of [activism] against violence against women and children”.

The DA believes that the ANC must be setting the bar extravagantly low if Dlamini’s work for women is being termed as fantastic.

Dlamini has, in actual fact, done a terrible job for women in South Africa. Dlamini’s inability to lead or represent women is indicated by a number of her actions:

  • Dlamini came to the defence of the ANC’s Mduduzi Manana following his assault of three women;
  • She also came to the defence of former ANC president, Jacob Zuma, during his rape trial calling it “political grandstanding” and launching attacks on his accuser;
  • Her delegation to the ANC’s policy conference consisted of six men, representing the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), reportedly stating that “women were too emotional”;
  • She is known for attending the funerals of women who are brutally raped and murdered, without having any regard to create support systems or programmes for victims; and
  • Dlamini is notoriously loath to appear before Parliament, whether it be oral question sessions or committee meetings, with the Portfolio Committee on Social Development having to consider issuing a summons to have her appear

Her failure to serve our women is equally reflected by her disastrous tenure as Minister of Social Development. The near-collapse of the social grants payment system and the continuing crisis at the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) caused extreme suffering for South Africa’s most vulnerable.

Indeed, the Constitutional Court’s investigation into the 2017/2018 SASSA debacle and its findings on Dlamini’s involvement was damning and would have cost anyone else their job. Not only did it find the Minister misled the Court, it determined that her actions had endangered the well-being of the most needy in our society.

The Court described Dlamini’s conduct as “reckless and grossly negligent”‚ saying she failed to disclose information before the inquiry into her role in the social grants disaster. It ordered a copy of its judgement to be forwarded to the National Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether she lied under oath and should be charged for perjury.

Given Dlamini’s previous and current record as minister, it would seem entirely irrational for President Ramaphosa to retain her in Cabinet, and even less rational for him to state that she is doing a fantastic job. This delusion and lack of executive accountability is precisely why the DA is seeking an order declaring Ramaphosa’s decision to retain Dlamini as part of his Executive as unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. Our legal team approached the North Gauteng High Court on 23 October and the matter has been set down for 11 March 2019.

Dlamini must indeed know about a great many skeletons in a great many closets, as she once famously said, for her to be retained in Cabinet.

The DA is the only party that will build One SA for all – and that would ensure that the new Minister for Women in the Presidency would protect and care for the rights of all South African women and children.

Our legal challenge to have Ministers Gigaba and Dlamini fired will be heard in March next year

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing in Parliament, Cape Town. Maimane was joined by DA Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe. The DA’s founding affidavit can be accessed here.

When Cyril Ramaphosa was elected President of the Republic of South Africa in February of this year, he made a commitment to break with the status quo ushered in by his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, by cleaning up government and ensuring the best, most suitable individuals are appointed to serve the people of our country. The DA holds the view that anyone who serves his/her country in high office ought to be above reproach and a servant of the people.

264 days later, and President Ramaphosa’s promise remains pending. Cabinet is still packed with compromised people who have been shown to have time and again failed in their mandates and responsibilities. It appears Ramaphosa is using his Cabinet to build unity within the ANC and reward loyalty – this at the expense of clean, efficient and transparent governance that grows the economy, creates work, and delivers services to our people.

In his one and only cabinet reshuffle on 26 February this year, President Ramaphosa exercised his executive power in terms of Section 91(3) of the Constitution, and reappointed Ministers Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini to his Cabinet. It is vital to underscore that this reappointment constitutes an exercise of executive power by the President – a decision that is subject to certain basic tenets of the law.

It is common cause that both Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini have been found to have lied under oath in court cases relating to government work. These are not mere allegations – they are the unanimous findings of the North Gauteng High Court and the Constitutional Court respectively.

We are of the view that the decision by the President to reappoint these two ministers in February this year fails the legal test of rationality, and as such we are seeking an order declaring the President’s decisions to retain both the Dlamini and Gigaba in his Cabinet to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. The DA also seeks an order reviewing the decisions and setting them aside.

Furthermore, as much as it is irrational to appoint manifestly unsuitable persons to the Cabinet, it is equally irrational to retain such persons in Cabinet, especially when the Constitutional Court and the North Gauteng High Court have made the pronouncements that they have. We contend that both are therefore unfit to hold executive office and must be removed.

Our legal team has approached the North Gauteng High Court on 23 October 2018, and we can confirm that the matter is set down for 11 March 2019.

As it pertains to costs, we are asking the court to direct the first respondent – the President – to pay the costs of this application, jointly and severally with any other respondent who opposes this application. This is to ensure that if either Malusi Gigaba or Bathabile Dlamini choose to adopt Zuma-esque delay tactics in opposing this application, they are to pay out of their own pockets. South Africans will not bear the cost of millions of rands for errant ministers attempts to “clear their names”.

In relation to Mr Gigaba, it is submitted that the President’s failure to discharge him from office is irrational and unlawful. In the matter of Fireblade Aviation (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Home Affairs, Judge Neil Tuchten of the North Gauteng High Court found that Gigaba, as Home Affairs Minister, “deliberately told untruths under oath” and that “he committed a breach of the constitution so serious that I could characterise it as a violation”.

The DA has already laid criminal charges of perjury against Mr Gigaba, and we urge the President to publicly support these charges.

In addition to this, just last week the Public Protector found Gigaba to have violated the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code following a complaint by the Democratic Alliance in relation to the Fireblade matter. The Public Protector made recommendations that President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against Gigaba. Mr Gigaba has since indicated that he intends on challenging this finding.

Therefore, our legal team will today write to the Office of the State Attorney, formally asking that Mr Gigaba’s request for the State to pay for his legal fees in this matter be rejected. The South African public cannot be expected to pay millions of rands in legal fees on behalf of ministers who do not belong in Cabinet.

Tomorrow, the DA will be in court in the Jacob Zuma legal fees saga, fighting to ensure Mr Zuma pays back every cent of legal fees he racked up – which were paid for by the State. This is a clear example of such delay tactics, as the DA has been fighting for close to a decade to ensure this money is recouped. We expect the figure to be close on R50 million. This trend must stop, and we thus implore the State Attorney to put a halt to it at once.

In relation to Ms Dlamini, it is submitted that the President’s failure to discharge her from office is irrational and unlawful. Bathabile Dlamini has failed in her job, having been directly responsible for the social grants crisis. Dlamini was determined to deliberately derail the entire process of SASSA procuring an alternative service provider, all in a bid to ensure that the CPS contract could be extended over and over again.

The Constitutional Court found Bathabile Dlamini to have “used her position as Minister of the Department to place herself between constitutionally enshrined rights and those entitled to them” and “(…) at best for her, her conduct was reckless and grossly negligent.” Ultimately, the court found that “the Minister misled the Court to protect herself from the consequences of her behaviour.”

Minister Dlamini has proven that she is incapable of governing a government department and has continuously failed in delivering on her mandate of protecting the most vulnerable in our society. It is obvious that Dlamini is not fit for office.

The fact that Gigaba and Dlamini remain in high office – with multi-million rand salaries, VIP protection, and numerous perks all paid for by ordinary South Africans – is an indictment on President Ramaphosa and his ability to lead our country forward.

The truth is that under the ANC, our country is headed in the wrong direction. Corruption is rife and there is a lack of respect for the law and the requirements of high office. We cannot sit back and watch the ANC continue to undermine our nation and its people.

The DA will never stop fighting to build One South Africa For All, where those in government are committed to serving the people, not themselves and their friends.


DA lays perjury charges against Dodging Dlamini for allegedly lying to ConCourt

Please find attached English and isiZulu soundbites by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP.

Today the Democratic Alliance (DA) laid charges of perjury against Minister Bathabile Dlamini at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.


The charges follow the damning judgement in which the Constitutional Court requested that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) consider whether Dlamini should be prosecuted for lying under oath during her testimony at the Judge Bernard Ngoepe Inquiry into the social grants crisis.

While the NPA considers charging her, it is vital that all avenues to hold her to account are used to make sure she will not continue to dodge facing the consequences of putting the lives of millions at risk.

Retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe, who lead the Inquiry into her role in the 2017 social grants debacle, offered a scathing assessment of Dlamini’s testimony. Judge Ngoepe’s findings strongly suggested that “some of Minister Dlamini’s evidence under oath in the affidavits before this [Constitutional] Court and orally before the Inquiry was false” and that the Minister may have “misled the Court to protect herself from the consequences of her behaviour”.

Last week, the Constitutional Court branded the Minister as “reckless and grossly negligent”. Dlamini clearly has no place in government.

It is clear from her actions that she does not care for the millions of vulnerable South Africans who depend on social grants every month just to feed their loved ones.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is harbouring individuals in his Cabinet who are Constitutionally and morally bankrupt and have very little regard for the laws and people of the country. It is for this reason the DA has given President Ramaphosa until Friday, 5 October, to remove Dlamini from his Cabinet.

It is now in the hands of the South African Police Services to investigate these charges against Minister Dlamini and up to the NPA to ensure that she is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Dodging Dlamini can no longer run away from accountability. The DA will continue to explore all possible avenues to ensure that she has her day in court.

Please download pictures here and here.

DA gives President Ramaphosa one week to fire Dlamini and Gigaba

The following statement was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, at a media briefing in Parliament. Maimane was joined by DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP.

The Department of Social Development is perhaps one of the most important in government, as it is tasked with the welfare of the most vulnerable people in our society – young children, the elderly, orphans, the disabled and foster children.

It should be a source of national shame that such an important department was ever run by a Minister like Bathabile Dlamini, and this shame is compounded by the fact that she now still remains in Cabinet in a position of important responsibility for championing women’s issues.

Yesterday’s scathing Constitutional Court judgement against Minister Bathabile Dlamini, in her capacity as then Minister of Social Development, confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa now harbours two Ministers in his Cabinet who have lied under oath.

These are not allegations. They are the unanimous findings of the Constitutional Court and the North Gauteng High Court respectively.

It is truly an exceptional circumstance to have two members of the Executive found to have lied under oath in court cases relating to their work in government. This is intolerable, and both of these Ministers should be dismissed from Cabinet.

I have written to President Ramaphosa asking him to fire Ministers Gigaba and Dlamini before 5 October. Should he fail to do so, we will approach the Courts to seek an order to compel him to act to uphold the honour of high executive honour and remove these two perjurers from his Cabinet.

President Ramaphosa has spoken often and vocally about his desire to act meaningfully to clean up his administration. This is a perfect opportunity for him to show real commitment to his words, and to act to uphold the integrity of the Executive.

Bathabile Dlamini

Bathabile Dlamini has failed in her job, having been directly responsible for the social grants crisis, which the DA believes she purposefully manufactured to ensure CPS would continue to distribute grants, no doubt for her own personal gain.

Dlamini was determined to deliberately derail the entire process of SASSA procuring an alternative service provider, all in a bid to ensure that the CPS contract could be extended over and over again.

Retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe offered a scathing assessment of Dlamini’s testimony during the Inquiry into her role in the 2017 social grants debacle.

Yesterday’s unanimous judgment by the Constitutional Court found that (par 12): “(…) at best for her, her conduct was reckless and grossly negligent,” and that (par 15) “the Minister misled the Court to protect herself from the consequences of her behaviour.”

In the view of the court (par 15), she “used her position as Minister of the Department to place herself between constitutionally enshrined rights and those entitled to them.”

Minister Dlamini has time and again proven that she is incapable of governing a department and continuously failed in delivering on her mandate of protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

It is obvious that Dlamini is not fit for office and her contempt for the highest court in our country is matched only by her contempt for the most vulnerable people in our country.

Bathabile Dlamini is an embarrassment to the government and the country, and besmirches the office of Minister. The President should dismiss her immediately.

Where or not he does, the DA will lay criminal charges against Dlamini for committing perjury by lying under oath to the Constitutional Court.

We will also lay a complaint against Minister Dlamini, in terms of section 4 of the Executive Ethics Act. Section 2 of the Executive Ethics Act forbids “Cabinet members, Deputy Ministers and MECs from…exposing themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests; (iv) using their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person; and (v) acting in a way that may compromise the credibility or integrity of their office or of the government.” As is stipulated by the Act, the complaint will be laid with the Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Malusi Gigaba

Minister Malusi Gigaba is directly implicated in bypassing South African law to ensure that the Guptas were given citizenship when they were not entitled to it.

In February this year, in the matter of Fireblade Aviation (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Home Affairs, Judge Neil Tuchten of the North Gauteng High Court found that Gigaba, when he was still Home Affairs Minister, “deliberately told untruths under oath” and that “he committed a breach of the constitution so serious that I could characterise it as a violation”.

The DA has already laid a formal complaint with the Public Protector requesting that she investigate Minister Gigaba’s conduct in the matter in light of the serious findings of the High Court. We will continue our engagements with the Public Protector to ensure that her investigation into Minister Gigaba is now expedited so that he can be held to account.

However, it seems that there has been little progress in this matter and Adv. Mkhwebane is dragging her feet. The DA reminds her that she has a duty to investigate without fear or favour and to ensure that those in high office uphold their oaths of office.

We will also follow this up now with perjury charges against Minister Gigaba.

The fact is that the ANC have taken South Africa down the wrong path. Corruption is rife and there is a lack of respect for the law and the requirements of high office.

President Ramaphosa has pledged to turn this around. Now is the time for him to show whether he really means in deed what he has said.

So far, he has often acted in the best interests of the unity of the ANC, instead of the best interests of the country. He must not defend these Ministers and protect their jobs in the interests of the ANC. He must fire these two liars now.

‘Dodging Dlamini’ is a threat to society’s most vulnerable and must be fired

The Constitutional Court ruling that former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, must pay 20% of the legal costs incurred relating to the social grants crisis shows that Dlamini cannot be trusted with championing the rights of the most vulnerable in society.

President Ramaphosa can no longer ignore this fact and would fire her immediately if he has any care for the millions of people she has already and will continue to endanger.

The Constitutional Court went so far as to say that Dlamini’s behaviour was “reckless and grossly negligent” and that a copy of the judgment should be sent to the National Director of Public Prosecutions to determine if Dodging Dlamini can be prosecuted for perjury if indeed she lied to the court.

Given this damning judgment, President Cyril Ramaphosa must fire Dlamini immediately from her position as Minister of Women in the Presidency. This appointment should not have happened in the first place given that she manufactured the social grants crisis, so she could benefit through the planned extension of the illegal CPS contract.

The ANC government protected and rewarded Dlamini for her role in the grants crisis, instead of holding her accountable. She was ultimately responsible for risking the livelihoods of 17 million South Africans who she should have protected, and her recklessness cannot be allowed to continue.

The ANC has protected its failing members for too long. South Africans can bring an end to this in the elections next year by voting for the DA.

‘Dodging’ Dlamini is politically accountable for grants payment crisis

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the judgement in the Constitutional Court ordered Inquiry on whether Former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, should be personally liable for the social grants crisis.

While the court has ruled that Dlamini is not personally liable, the fact remains that she presided over and was ultimately politically accountable for manufacturing a crisis that put the livelihoods of 17 million South Africans at risk.

The DA strongly believes that Dodging Dlamini purposefully created the crisis so she could benefit. It seemed that she was determined to deliberately derail the entire process of SASSA procuring an alternative service provider, all in a bid to ensure that the illegal CPS contract could be extended over and over again.

Minister Dlamini has time and again proven that she is incapable of governing a department and continuously failed in delivering on her mandate of protecting the most vulnerable in our society. She should never have been appointed Minister of Women in the Presidency.

In a scathing report by Judge Ngoepe in May this year, Dlamini was described as an evasive and inconsistent witness. This is proof of her disdain for accountability and that she has no place as a member of Cabinet.

The DA does welcome that former SASSA Acting CEO, Pearl Bhengu, has been ordered to pay the legal costs of the 2018 application seeking the extension of the illegal Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract.

Given that Bengu is now the regional head of SASSA in KwaZulu-Natal, this judgment should see her fired immediately.

For too long the failing ANC has protected and even promoted those guilty of putting their own interests above the interest of the people of South Africa. Dodging Dlamini is the perfect example of this but it does not have to continue to be the case.

The DA is the only party that’s committed to cutting corruption and to giving our people dignified access to social services and we will continue to fight for a better country for all.

#SASSA leaves grant recipients hungry and stranded

The statement follows an oversight inspection to the SASSA pay point at Zolani Centre in Nyanga township by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi MP, and the DA Member of the NCOP on Social Development, Thandi Mpambo-Sibukwana MP. Please find a video here, pictures here and here and soundbites by Ms Masango in English and Ms Mpambo-Sibukwanahere in IsiXhosa

Today the DA visited the SASSA pay point at Zolani Centre in Nyanga, Cape Town. We met with social grant recipients who shared concerns about the new SASSA cash grants system. Last month, SASSA employees embarked on a strike which raised concerns on the impact it could have on the process of beneficiaries switching to new cards.

On Tuesday, these fears became a reality as reports surfaced that a number of cash grants recipients across the country have been turned away from pay points, as a result of “system failures”.

This was also confirmed by one beneficiary the DA spoke to at the Zolani Centre who told the DA that he was not able to access his grants at pay point because he still has his old card. The recipient was then directed to the South African Post Office (SAPO) where he still could not access their grants.

This is deeply concerning and despite repeated empty promises from successive Ministers of Social Developments who have claimed that grant recipients would still be able to access their grants until the old card expires on 30 September 2018.

Clearly, neither SASSA nor SAPO have been adequately prepared for the switch to the new system. Any delays in beneficiaries accessing their grants could have catastrophic consequences for the survival of poor families who rely on grants just to get by.

This crisis dates back to the time of former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile ‘Dodging’ Dlamini. It was due to her lack of leadership that SASSA stumbled from one crisis to the next. Her successor, Susan Shabangu, seems to have followed in her footsteps as she has not stepped up to take charge.

Grant recipients have now been dealt a double blow by the ANC-government. Not only are some beneficiaries not getting their grants but the cost of living is on the rise.

This year alone there have been 5 fuel hikes and South Africans will now pay over R16 per litre for petrol and the cost of illuminating paraffin is also set to increase. This is on top of the anti-poor VAT increase earlier this year. This has had a massive impact on the price of food and public transport.

South Africans continue to be burdened by the ANC’s corruption and their failure to shield the most vulnerable from the successive cost of living increases.

The DA strongly opposed the VAT and fuel increases as it is anti-poor and proposed that the Child Support Grant, especially, be increased above the food poverty line.

Our proposal to increase the Child Support Grant was rejected by the ANC. This comes as no surprise, as the ANC continues to punish the poor for their mismanagement and poor governance.

The DA will continue to fight for the dignity of social grants recipients as the continued turmoil at the agency has serious consequences on the livelihoods of the poor and most vulnerable.

New SASSA payment system creating a crisis for 2.8 million South Africans

The Democratic Alliance is concerned by reports we are receiving from social grant beneficiaries across the country related to “glitches” in the system which have resulted in many of them being turned away from pay points.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the South African Post Office (SAPO) appear to have been ill-prepared for the changes to the new payment system which has now caused delays in payments to beneficiaries.

We have noted the late apology issued by SASSA Acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu yesterday essentially placing the blame on a “systems failure”. This apology is simply not good enough. 2.8 million South Africans are beneficiaries of cash payments and they depend on these to put food on the table. SASSA should have made sure that all pay points had converted to the new system ahead of this month’s grants payments.

Until pay points change to the new system, beneficiaries will not be able to access their funds. Neither SASSA or SAPO can say for certain when they expect this to happen which means millions of people will go hungry for an indefinite period because of SASSA’s negligent behaviour. The DA will not stand by and let this go unchallenged.

Tomorrow, SASSA is due to appear before the Social Development Portfolio Committee and the DA will use this opportunity to get more clarity on behalf of these beneficiaries.

We will also conduct oversight visits at key pay points in order to engage beneficiaries and to assess the severity of the situation ourselves.

This continued chaos at SASSA places further blight on this ANC government and is an indictment on Social Development minister Susan Shabangu. Like her predecessor ‘Dodging Bathabile Dlamini’, she is playing a game of hide and seek by failing to provide leadership in this time of crisis.

Bathabile Dlamini and Pearl Bhengu must be held personally liable for SASSA waste

The Democratic Alliance will write to the new Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, to request that her Department take urgent action to hold her predecessor, Bathabile Dlamini, and former South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) CEO, Pearl Bhengu, personally liable for gross irregular expenditure at the Department during their tenure, including the R16 million spent on dubious “education meetings”.

In a presentation to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in Parliament today, SASSA revealed Bhengu signed off R16 million in December 2017 for “education meetings” in Kwazulu-Natal without following standard procurement procedures.

Today, Bhengu was the only Provincial manager absent, conveniently “unwell”.

It is alleged that Bhengu, within a day of receiving the request, approved inter alia:

• A marque for R485 000;
• Flooring for R482 000;
• Chairs and ‘decor’ for R487 000;
• Catering for R493 000;
• Transport for R493 000;
• A sound system for R492 000; and
• Gifts and promotions worth R480 000

Dlamini and Bhengu cannot escape accountability for their complicity in turning SASSA into their personal piggy bank while diverting money to vanity projects that did not improve the material welfare of grant recipients. While we welcome the commitments by the new acting SASSA CEO, Abraham Mahlangu to conduct further investigations, parliament must still exercise its oversight responsibilities and therefore Dlamini and Bhengu should be summoned to urgently appear before SCOPA to account for their actions.

Shipping Bhengu off to Kwazulu-Natal will also not atone for the financial damage she did while she was the CEO at SASSA. She must immediately be suspended pending an investigation and, if found guilty, made to pay back all the SASSA money that was wasted. The same is true for Dlamini; the fact she is now the Minister of Women despite her demonstrated poor leadership is an indictment on the ANC government and sends a clear message that accountability is not a priority for them.

The real tragedy is that while grant recipients are struggling with the rise in food prices triggered by the VAT increase to 15%, SASSA continues to lose money without any sense of responsibility to the millions of poor South Africans it is meant to serve. The DA will not sit idly and allow this blatant misuse of state coffers to continue.

100 Days in and the cracks in “Ramaphoria” are beginning to widen

The following statement was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, at a press briefing at Nkululeko House, the Party’s Headquarters in Gauteng. Maimane was joined by DA Chief Whip in Parliament, John Steenhuisen MP, and DA Shadow Minister in the Presidency, Sejamothopo Motau MP. Please find the press briefing document attached here.

The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President of the Republic of South African on 15 February 2018 was predictably met by a wave of optimism and anticipation not witnessed in our nation for the better part of a decade. Many believed – and still do believe – that the election of Ramaphosa as President was the seminal moment in turning around the fortunes of our country and putting us back on track to becoming a leading light in the region, on the continent, and in the developing world.

At the time of his election, South Africa was in a state of political and institutional turmoil. State capture, pervasive and unyielding corruption, nepotism and patronage, an economy on life support and in “junk status”, record high levels of unemployment, increasing poverty reaching unsustainable levels, a basic education system failing our youth, and several broken institutions of state and State-Owned Entities (SOEs) was the status quo. It is these fundamental issues which President Ramaphosa is expected to address and do so thoroughly and timeously.

Indeed, the bar was set pitifully low by former President Jacob Zuma. However, we must not forget that President Ramaphosa also had a role to play in the turmoil he eventually inherited. Ramaphosa faithfully served as Jacob Zuma’s Deputy President for the previous four years and at every juncture displayed solidarity with, and support for, the former President. He protected and endorsed Jacob Zuma and was a crucial member of the senior leadership of the ANC and the government during these tumultuous years.

Before Cyril Ramaphosa could be elected President of the Republic of South Africa, he needed to be elected President of his own political Party – the African National Congress. This is relevant because the outcome of this conference – and the Presidential election race – shapes the scope, extent of authority, and direction a Ramaphosa Presidency would encompass.

Despite his narrow victory at the ANC’s 54th National Conference, the road to his election and the resolutions adopted at that conference will be a relentless constraint on his ability to govern. President Ramaphosa inherited a deeply divided and factionalised ANC. Internally, the ANC cannot see eye to eye on a litany of issues and therefore whichever faction won this leadership race would be forced to compromise their views to a common middle ground. The ruling party’s “top six” is split down the middle, factionally, and therefore many of the political decisions that influence government are reduced to a tussle between two factions within the ruling party.

This is witnessed in what is unfolding in the North West Province. Looting, violence and destruction of property has plagued the streets of the North West – particularly the city of Mahikeng – as different factions of the ANC fight each other for power in the party and in government. This has seen Ramaphosa use his executive power, through Section 100 of the Constitution, to try and resolve internal political strife within the ANC by placing the province under administration. We must condemn this move and call it out for what it is. Ramaphosa cannot use the state for internal political ends – we saw this under Jacob Zuma and will oppose it at every juncture.

In addition to the North West, at least three other provinces are falling apart – namely the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Different factions within these provinces are taking each to court to challenge the validity of Provincial Executive Committees (PECs), and decisions taken by the ANC provincially. This has hamstrung these provincial governments. In KwaZulu-Natal, political killings are on the rise as ANC factions fight each other for control of resources and access to patronage networks. This has a direct effect on governance in those provinces and because of ANC infighting, the people suffer. President Ramaphosa is presiding over a disintegrating ANC, and our governments are feeling its negative effects.

Indeed, his first 100 days have been underwhelming, as South Africans have rightfully expected much for from the President. We remain stuck in a jobs crisis, while our country is not safe from crime, and our politicians continue to commit acts of corruption and nepotism. All while living conditions of South Africans have not changed. Tax is up, jobs are dying, petrol is increasing, and food is becoming unaffordable.

President Ramaphosa is governing on a fragile, compromised mandate, and therefore will never be able to effect total change that will turn our nation around, eradicate corruption, create millions of jobs, make our country safe, and fix our broken education system.

The National Executive

President Ramaphosa inherited one of the biggest Cabinets in the world – bloated and comprising of many compromised and incompetent individuals. The 35 Ministers and 37 Deputy Ministers will – in salary earnings alone – cost our country R163.5 million this year, and R510.5 million over the medium-term. This excludes Ministerial houses and vehicles, VIP protection, travel allowances, and private offices and their staff contingents.

While committing to reducing the size and cost of Cabinet – and ridding it of those who are underperforming and are linked to corruption – the President has failed on both accounts.

To this day he retains Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet in form, changing only a few personnel along the way. While he removed the likes of Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, David Mahlobo, Faith Muthambi, Bongani Bongo and Fikile Mbalula – his new broom failed to perform a clean sweep of all compromised and incompetent ministers. Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Aaron Motsoaledi and Angie Motshekga all remain in Cabinet, despite their dubious track records.

To create a capable, streamlined state, President Ramaphosa must cut the size of the National Executive, and remove all those compromised, underperforming, and non-performing Ministers. In this first 100 days, he has failed to do such.

The Economy

Due to a combination of the ANC’s uncertain economic policies, and Jacob Zuma’s personal mishandling of the economy, Ramaphosa inherited a struggling and stagnant economy. Once again, as the former Deputy President and second in charge, he cannot absolve himself from the mess he inherited. The expanded unemployment rate was 36.3% by the end of 2017, and with a staggering 9.2 million unemployed South Africans. The SA economy grew by a paltry 1.3% in 2017, coupled with a decrease in net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Within the first 100 days, the President has signalled an intent to move us in the right direction. Small, cosmetic changes such as the appointment of four investment envoys to attract foreign investors to South Africa; signing long-delayed renewable energy contracts worth $4.7 billion with Independent Power Producers (IPPs); a proposed Youth Employment Service (YES); and the appointment of Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance are all examples of such.

However, there are still policies within his government and the ruling party that will always act as a barrier to growth and job creation. Until he deals with such policies, we will continue our low growth high unemployment trajectory for the foreseeable future. This has seen the number of unemployed South Africans increase during the first months of his Presidency, from 9,216 million in the previous quarter to 9,481 million.

If Ramaphosa is serious about revitalising our economy and ensuring jobs are created, he should at once:

  • Reverse the 1 percentage point VAT hike;
  • Upgrade the current Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) to a full Youth Wage Subsidy;
  • Introducing a National Civilian Service year to provide work experience for the approximately 78 443 unemployed matriculants (from the class of 2016 alone) to enter into work-based training in the community healthcare, basic education or SAPS fields;
  • Reverse the decision to cut the Competition Commissions budget, as the Commission is crucial to reducing the concentration of the economy and allowing small businesses to flourish;
  • Institute a review of all labour legislation, with a view to liberalise the labour market making it easier to employ people;
  • Amend B-BBEE legislation to include internships, bursaries, and funding of schools as legitimate empowerment;
  • Reject the proposed amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to expropriate all land without compensation, which creates uncertainty and volatility in the economy;
  • Ensure that the 100 000 unpaid invoices, worth over R7.7 billion, between government departments and small businesses are paid;
  • Adopt a City-led economic growth agenda, focusing on cities as the drivers of growth and job creation; and
  • Reconsider a blanket National Minimum Wage, which favour the employed at the expense of the unemployed and will cost at least 700 000 jobs, killing many small businesses.

Countries rise and fall on the strength of their economies, and this holds especially true for the developing world. Just tinkering at the edges, with a talk shop here and a summit there, will not fundamentally restructure the economy to creates jobs. The President still has a long way to go when it comes to the economy.


Corruption has long been the hallmark of the ANC-led national government. Since the first allegations relating to the now infamous “Arms Deal”, corruption has been rampant across government – fed by the patronage politics of the ruling party.

President Ramaphosa has had a seat at the table throughout the majority of the Zuma years, witnessing and turning a blind eye to the corruption within government. Therefore, it remains difficult to know where Ramaphosa stands when it comes to corruption.

During his State of the Nation Address he said the word “corruption” six times, four of which related to public sector corruption, and the other two touching on private sector corruption.

Most notably, he stated that “this is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions” – signalling an intention to tackle corruption head on during his first year as President. He also said he would “urgently” deal with the National Prosecuting Authority “to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered.”

Over the past 100 days, the evidence of Ramaphosa tackling corruption head on has been scant, and he has left much to be wanting. His appointment of Arthur Fraser as National Commissioner of Correctional Services is a move from the Jacob Zuma playbook, where questionable and compromised individuals are reshuffled and rehired, instead of fired. We have approached the courts to have this decision reviewed and set aside, and we urge the President to not waste time and to reverse his decision to rehire Fraser following the allegations against him during his time employed at the State Security Agency (SSA).

For the President to stamp his mark and be taken seriously when it comes to corruption, he needs to take the following decisions:

  • Ensure the independence of the NPA by immediately appointing a National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) with the ability to restore the integrity of the NPA;
  • Support the DA’s move to remove the current Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office;
  • Ensure justice is served in the ongoing trial of Jacob Zuma by cancelling the agreement for the state to continue to pay Zuma’s legal bills;
  • To not oppose the DA’s legal action in this regard; and
  • To take firm again against those accused of corruption within the ANC, including Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, and National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe.

Basic Education

Basic Education in South Africa is in an appalling state, and with each passing day it jeopardizes the futures of our young people. Currently, we have one of the worst literacy rates in the world, and 3 of every 4 children cannot read with meaning. We essentially have two education systems in South Africa – one for the rich, and one for the rest. Those who cannot afford private schooling are sent to schools that are run by SADTU appointees, where teachers cannot pass the subjects they teach, and where infrastructure is almost non-existent.

While there are many excellent and dedicated teachers in South Africa, there are currently over 8 million children attending dysfunctional schools where the quality of teaching, in general, is not up to standard.

In order to save our crumbling education system, the President must ensure the following:

  • SADTU’s stranglehold on education is broken;
  • Reestablishment of teacher training colleges;
  • An independent inspectorate is established, mandated and empowered to inspect schools and evaluate the quality of teaching, leadership, management and governance; and
  • Charter schools are established, allowing a private-public sector partnership which will increase standards of education and accountability.


President Ramaphosa inherited a health system that is in disarray within various provinces – Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to name just two. Despite Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, overseeing both the Life Esidimeni tragedy and the KZN oncology crisis – claiming 144 and over 500 lives respectively – he remains in his job. Motsoaledi is also responsible for the medical student placement crisis, whereby due to administrative failures by government, hundreds of qualified doctors were not placed for their community service for 2018 – many of which are still unemployed.

At a national level, there are too few clinics with 3 182 clinics in South Africa, each serving 16 971 people on average, whilst the WHO suggests a clinic to population ratio of no less than 1:10 000. South Africa has insufficient medical practitioners with less than one (only 0.7) physicians per 100 000 population, and 2.2 nurses per 100 000 population, leaving us well behind peer and OECD nations. Over 2.5 million South Africans live further than 5km from their nearest primary healthcare facility. This is the state of healthcare in South Africa.

As of now, the oncology crisis in KwaZulu-Natal is still not solved. There was and still is a major shortage of doctors, nurses and medical personnel.  Various hospitals and clinics are and were in a dilapidated state and have a major shortage of working medical machinery, essential medicines and other medical equipment. Ramaphosa has taken little action in relation to the healthcare system.

President Ramaphosa’s first move should have been to announce the scrapping of the NHI in favour of a more sustainable and affordable hybrid system, which will still ensure all South Africans receive healthcare cover.

He should have placed the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Health Department’s under administration, and assessed other provincial health departments for staff shortages, ongoing strikes by nurses and health workers, and equipment and medicine shortages.

Ramaphosa should immediately introduce an Expanded Clinic Building Programme in under-served areas nationwide, conduct feasibility studies for under-served areas in order to assess the impact of extended clinic operating hours, and ensure mobile clinics are provided for existing settlements which are not yet formalised and exist beyond a 5km radius from existing public health facilities.

The announcement of a few roadshows and the implementation of the unworkable NHI – as witnessed in his State of The Nation Address – will not solve our country’s healthcare shortfalls.

Public Enterprises

Over the past decade, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have been a constant strain on our economy and the national fiscus. Not only were SOEs the playgrounds whereby billions were stolen from our country via State Capture, but the overwhelming majority of SOEs are inefficient, loss making entities which need largescale reform.

Despite chairing the Inter-Ministerial Committee for State Owned Entities (SOEs) while Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa failed to ensure the Committee carried out is mandate of “overseeing the stabilisation and reform of state-owned entities”.

For the 2017/18 financial year, SOEs hold R466 billion in government guarantees. These SOEs continue to make massive losses. Overall, public entities lost R53.7 billion in the 2016/17 financial year. Each and every year, these entities lose more money, ask government for further guarantees, and provide a platform for corruption and nepotism.

In his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa undertook to change the fortunes of SOEs, including the manner in which their Boards are elected and removed, and the extent of private sector strategic involvement – all the while coordinated by Ramaphosa himself.

The President has made some positive decisions – including replacing the boards at Eskom and Denel, as well as ensuring SOE boards reviews bonus payments and conduct lifestyle audits.

While these appear to be positive steps in the right direction, much more is required to address the real menace here. The President should have already:

  • Identified SOEs that are to be part-privatised;
  • Begun the process of splitting Eskom into a generation entity and transmission entity, with the generation entity privatised, and the transmission entity state owned;
  • Ensured stability at PRASA, and investigated tender irregularities and the R50 billion locomotive deal;
  • Made sure all those who are found of wrongdoing be held criminally and civilly accountable;
  • Finalised new shareholder compacts which highlight the targets and specific objectives for the SOEs – to which they will be held to account;
  • Merged SAA, SA Express and Mango, with a view to sell off the ailing airline; and
  • He should have changed the board of both Alexkor and Safcol.


President Ramaphosa inherited a police service that is chronically under-resourced, under-staffed, under-equipped and under-trained. Crime is rampant in South Africa, and the police are simply unable to reduce crime and ensure our country is safe. This would require an entire overhaul of the SAPS, in order to professionalise and equip police men and women, and to depoliticise the appointment of those at the very top.

In his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa committed to a range of new programmes that will tackle crime and build safer communities – including the “Community Policing Strategy” and the “Youth Crime Prevention Strategy.”

Since then, it appears not much has materialised. The President did replace Police Minister Fikile Mbalula with former Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, which received mixed feelings due to Cele’s recent past.

The President should have immediately moved to professionalise and equip the police service by:

  • Conducting a thorough lifestyle audit of all senior police members to stem corruption;
  • Beef up the independence of IPID and see to it that they are properly resourced;
  • Conduct an audit of all station-level resourcing issues and determine where the gap; and
  • Commission an independent evaluation of all current policing strategies and their effectiveness.

It would appear that tackling the scourge of crime in South Africa does not appear high on the President’s list of priorities.

Land Reform

President Ramaphosa inherited two problems. Firstly, a skewed pattern of land ownership to the exclusion of the majority of black South Africans. And secondly, a Department of Rural Development and Land Reform that has failed to address this skewed pattern for more than two decades.

The story of land reform in this country is one of utter failure of the ANC government. While land reform is often part of campaign rhetoric, results over the 24 years paint a dire picture. The recent EWOC campaign yet again just a campaign slogan that offers no real solution to the current crisis. The core argument is that compensation has not been the major stumbling block. The ANC must address the systemic issues from lack of political will, corruption and elite capture to lack of capacity, budgeting and post settlement support.

Unfortunately, the President has failed to carve his own view on land and has resorted to the divisive rhetoric of the ANC. In doing so, he has failed to protect property rights, ensure justice, and attract investment that will lead to job creation.

In his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa reaffirmed his commitment to expropriation of land without compensation, which should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

Expropriation without compensation has provided uncertainty to investors and land owners in general, and people with informal tenure such as people living on communal land and farms are still not fully protected. ANC land reform programmes have continued to champion state custodianship which doesn’t expand black ownership of land and is an injustice to people deserving of the land they have been deprived of.

In his first 100 days, the President has erred in his approach to land reform. Instead of using the Constitution as a scapegoat, he should have done the following:

  • Directed more funds to land reform. Currently, the government spends more on VIPs for politicians and Ministers – R2.8 billion – than it does on land reform – R2.7 billion. Less than 1% of government’s total budget spending is on land reform;
  • Put in concrete steps for the speedy resolution of land claims and disputed land claims;
  • Inclusion of urban land reform to facilitate economic opportunities for people in urban areas;
  • Ensuring the protection of people’s land especially those with insecure land rights;
  • Assess all government owned land with a view to transferring to individuals; and
  • Ensure that 4 300 state-owned farms which forms part of the 17 million hectares of state-owned land must be assessed for distribution to black land beneficiaries.

In his first 100 days, the President has missed an opportunity to affect real change and unity in our nation regarding the land question. Instead, he’s reverted to the ANC’s rhetoric on blaming the Constitution – while many black South Africans remain without land and without dignity. We urge the President to make a necessary about-turn on this matter, in order to protect property rights, ensure justice, and attract investment that will lead to job creation.


Since this election as President, Cyril Ramaphosa has worked overtime in trying to distinguish himself from Jacob Zuma and the ANC – as a savior of the nation and the man who has the will, the grit, and the integrity to turn our country’s fortunes around and see it prosper.

Over the past 100 days, it has become clear that regardless of Ramaphosa’s intentions, he is a comprised President whose powers are greatly restrained by his political party, and by the individual and interest groups that got him elected. The cracks in “Ramaphoria” are beginning to widen.

Our country needs a fresh start and total change, that which President Cyril Ramaphosa cannot bring about. South Africa deserves better. Our vision is to see our nation become the united, prosperous and non-racial country we all desire. Where we champion a vibrant and growing economy that creates jobs, where those left behind are given opportunity, where our streets are safe and crime free, where our education system serves students and not SADTU, where the government serves the people and not politicians, and where corruption, nepotism and patronage are relegated to the pages of history.

Only the DA can bring about that future. We will work tirelessly to inspire hope in our nation and continue our mission of building One South Africa For All, based on the values of Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity.

We have begun our election preparation ahead of the National Elections next year. Yesterday I met and briefed all our public representatives and staff in the North West, and this morning I did the same here in Gauteng. Our structures are ready and fired up, and we believe South Africans will be given a real alternative to the ANC come election day in 2019. Total change is possible, and it starts with the DA.